American better off improving relations with Cuba

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Nov 18, by Lauren Gette-King – letter to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle

Recently, Cuba has found its way back into the spotlight – and not for the better. Accounts of U.S. diplomats experiencing health issues after their time in Cuba have arisen and the U.S. government has yet to offer proof of Cuban responsibility.

The U.S. Department of State, however, has reduced the number of diplomats at the U.S. embassy in Cuba and issued a travel advisory. Furthermore, no other country has issued any travel warning or advisory, including the Canadian government. This scenario has put a large amount of pressure on fragile U.S.–Cuba relations and hopefully won’t jeopardize the progress of many people-to-people relations that have been established since former President Obama began the normalization process in 2014.

We urge a swift conclusion to the ongoing investigation and feel that it is important to remind our friends in the Gallatin Valley of the hospitality and diligence of the Cuban people. People-to-people relationships are the backbone of the normalization process that culminated in December 2014 and are still the driving force of progressive change in U.S.–Cuba relations. It is important to realize that citizens of both countries are affected by this historically poor relationship. Here in Montana, there are many opportunities ranging from economic to educational collaboration in areas such as agribusiness, health care, and eco-tourism.

Lauren Gette-King

Bozeman

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